By |2021-11-22T09:29:07-05:00November 22nd, 2021|Breadcrumb Trail|

Our chronically stressed nervous system is like a stray hungry dog who’s been badly treated. He wants food, he wants affection, but he is fearful and can’t trust a friendly outstretched hand. He might even bite it!

The action of our nervous system activated into its defensive state ongoingly is to hold that distrust at the system level, which translates into our retracting reflexively from connection. The cognitive processes arising from that fearful, retracted state will be suspicious and seeing the worst. This negative mind-state will turn inward in the form of thought patterns that are self-doubting, harsh self-critical, socially anxious, […]

Childhood Trauma Shapes Lifelong Physical and Mental Health

By |2021-11-11T11:13:52-05:00November 11th, 2021|Breadcrumb Trail|

“I would argue,” says Dr. Michael Sharp of Plum Spring Clinic, “that the studies on the health impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are the most important epidemiological studies ever done.”

The research he refers to—known as the ACEs studies—began with large-scale studies at Kaiser Permanente in the mid-1990s. These studies—corroborated repeatedly in the 25 years since—found a powerful link between childhood trauma and long-term physical health problems.

“Anyone in the healing arts has suspected that there is a connection between physical wellness and what we experience emotionally,” observes Dr. Sharp. “But these studies provide inescapable evidence of that connection. In fact, […]

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CLARITY and its Absence

By |2021-11-03T10:23:22-04:00November 3rd, 2021|Breadcrumb Trail|

The stress reaction, with its ‘soup’ of hormones, prepares the body for action. It activates quickly, bringing a burst of adrenaline for a fast response to stressor. The startle response happens in 100 milliseconds! If this quick surge doesn’t resolve the stress, cortisol is released.

Stress reactivity that is chronic results in the sustained presence of too much cortisol and keeps the body and mind in its vigilance posture, and here’s a new understanding from Poyvagal Theory: the pre-frontal cortex doesn’t come along. Simply put, we can’t think clearly or creatively in a stress state, because the body’s natural reaction contracts […]

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Cultivating Calm

By |2021-10-26T14:26:31-04:00October 26th, 2021|Breadcrumb Trail|

New science has shown us that the activity of our autonomic nervous system, in any given moment, is the grounding for our lived experience in that moment. The Polyvagal Theory describes the constant scanning for danger and safety that is nervous system’s critical role in survival, and the signaling to body systems to regulate according to the threat or safety detected.

When threat is detected, the system activates for fight or for flight, and routes all available resources to meeting the threat. If that threat overwhelms the system’s capacity, it collapses into a resource-conserving shut-down state. Anywhere along this continuum of […]

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Diagnosing Mind-Body Breakdowns

By |2021-07-06T15:12:10-04:00July 6th, 2021|Dr. Sharp's PlumLine Articles|

Many individuals who come to me with ill health are caught between two places. The first is: my body is breaking down and no one seems to be able to tell me what the matter is. Symptoms are concrete, frequent, specific, and real. There is something specifically wrong with me. Why is it so hard to get a diagnosis? The second space is: I am anxious and know that stress plays a role in this illness, but it seems to me that the illness is causing the stress, not the other way around. But all my doctors tell me that […]

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Environmental Importance for Mental Health

By |2021-07-06T15:33:19-04:00December 19th, 2020|Articles|

How does the environment affect our health?  

Humans have a natural strong need for safety. We look for physical comfort in environments, such as the right temperature. Humans need the right amount of stimulus and familiarity in environments. Comfort, entertainment, and safety are a few things that retailers and hospitality industries like to use. These go hand and hand with healthcare as well.
Another important factor is stress. […]
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Benefits of talking to people

By |2021-07-06T15:23:02-04:00December 19th, 2020|Articles, Mindfulness|

Why is talking to people important?

We are now in a world of technology and connectivity. All the information we need is practically at our fingertips. If we feel sick, we can search on our phones for answers based on our symptoms. Many treatment solutions can be found online and with a push of your finger. But along with medical help, there is assistance for mental or emotional problems.
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Creating Safety for your Nervous System and Coronavirus Protection

By |2021-07-06T15:24:03-04:00March 9th, 2020|Articles|

The outbreak and aggressive spread of Coronavirus is stealing our attention these days — alarming headlines, pictures of crowds in surgical masks, moment-to-moment update of statistics of reported cases, now in 53 countries and more by the time you read this. Collective alarm grips us. In our house, we’re preparing an emergency preparedness kit to stock up on groceries, coming up with coronavirus prevention tips and measures as well as other necessities against possible ‘supply chain interruptions’ that will happen if many workers get sick.

In the flurry of news, we are reminded of the things we can do to bolster […]

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The Toxicity of Microplastic

By |2021-07-06T15:34:20-04:00January 15th, 2020|Dr. Sharp's PlumLine Articles|

The ubiquitous, frivolous, and irresponsible abuse of plastics in our culture of throw-away consumerism has led to a significant environmental burden of growing concern. We have all probably heard about the huge floating continents of mostly plastic trash in that are clogging our oceans but we are just starting to learn about how microscopic particles of plastic have found their way into our food. These small particles of plastic, or microplastics, are difficult to track and quantify but recent studies have shown they are increasingly present in our food supply. Table salt, seafood, and both tap and bottled water […]

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